Last modified: 5 July 2020

The country

The state is known as Mamlakat Al-Bahrayn in its national language. This means the Kingdom of Bahrain. The country is being reigned by the Al-Khalifa dynasty.

The Kingdom of Bahrain is an Arab island state in the Persian Gulf. From the 3rd to the 6th century BC Bahrain was part of the Persian Empire of the Achaemenians. From the 3rd century BC until the 7th century AD Bahrain was ruled by the Persian dynasties of the Parthians and Sassanids. In 899 the country was seized by the Islamic Qarmatians, followed in 976 by the Abbasids. From 1076 to 1235 Bahrain was under the influence of the Uyunid dynasty of al-Hasa. They were followed by the Fars (1235), Usfurids (1253), the rulers of Hormuz (1330), and the Jabrids (mid 15th century). The island was invaded by the Porguguese in 1521, who ruled until in 1602 Abbas I of the Persian Safavid dynasty took over the power.

From 1783 the Bani Utbah tribe (Ali Bin Ali tribe) ruled Bahrain. They had a practically independent status as a self governed tribe. Different Arab families and tribes, most from Qatar, moved to Bahrain, including in 1797 the Al-Khalifa family, who were originally from Kuwait. Early 19th century Bahrain was invaded by the Omanis and the Al-Sauds. The Al- Khalifa family in 1820 entered into a treaty with Great Britain, which granted the family the title Rulers of Bahrain. It was revised in 1892 and 1951. The British only withdrew from Bahrain on 16 December 1971 (still the national day), after which it became an independent emirate. After King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa succeeded to the throne in 1999, there were elections for parliament, voting rights for women and all political prisoners were released. The country now is a constitutional monarchy. Since 2002 the country is called a kingdom.


The current sovereign is Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, King of Bahrain. He was born at Riffa, Bahrain, on 28 January 1950.

He is the son of Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, Emir of Bahrain (1933-1999) and his wife Sheikha Hissa bint Salman Al-Khalifa (1933-2009).


Sheikh Hamad succeeded his father as Emir after his death on 6 March 1999. On 14 February 2002 he took the title of King of Bahrain.

Other details

The King’s motto is Bahrainona, which means Our Bahrain.

The King is a Muslim.

Marriage and descendants

Sheikh Hamad is married to four women. His first wife and Queen Consort since 1968 is Sheikha Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al-Khalifa (born 1948). His second wife, Sheia bint Hassan Al Khrayyesh Al-Ajmi comes from Kuwait. His third wife is a daughter of Sheikh Faisal bin Muhammad bin Shuraim Al-Marri, his fourth wife a daughter of Jabor Al-Naimi.

His children:

  • (by 1) Crown Prince Sheikh Salman (born 1969)
  • (by 1) Sheikh Abdullah (born 1975) is married to Sheikha Hessa bint Khalifa Al-Khalifa. The couple has two sons, Sheikh Isa (born 1999) and Sheikh Salman (born 2003), and two daughters, Sheikha Nora (born 2000) and Sheikha Hessa.
  • (by 1) Sheikh Khalifa (born 1977)
  • (by 1) Sheikha Najla (born 1981) married in 2010.
  • (by 2) Sheikh Nasser (born 1987) is married to Sheikha Sheikha bint Mohammed Al-Maktoum of Dubai (born 1992) since 2009. The couple has one daughter, Sheikha Sheema (born 2010), and three sons, Sheikh Mohammed (born 2012), Sheikh Hamad (born 2012) and Sheikh Hamdan (born 2018).
  • (by 2 or 3) Sheikh Khalid (born 1989) divorced Princess Sahab bint Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, whom he had been married to since 2011. The couple has two sons, Sheikh Faisal (born 2012) and Sheikh Abdullah (born 2015). He secondly married in 2017 Sheikha Hessa bint Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain. The couple has one daughter, Sheikha Munira (born 2018).
  • (by 3) Sheikh Faisal (1991-2006)
  • (by 3) Sheikha Noura (born 1993)
  • (by 3) Sheikha Munira (born 1995)
  • (by 4) Sheikh Sultan
  • (by 4) Sheikha Hessa is married to Sheikh Hashim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa of Bahrain. They have one son.
  • (by 4) Sheikha Reema

Heir to the throne

The heir to the throne of Bahrain is Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa. He was born on 21 October 1969.

He married, and divorced 2005 Sheikha Hala bint Duaij Al-Khalifa (died 2018).

Their children:

  • Sheikh Isa (born 1990) married in 2013 Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah bin Isa Al Khalifa. They have three sons, Sheikh Hamad (born 2014), Sheikh Abdullah (born 2016) and Sheikh Salman (born 2020)
  • Sheikh Muhammad (born 1991) is married and has one son, Sheikh Ahmad (born 2018) and one daughter, Basma (born 2020).
  • Sheikha Fatima al-Dana
  • Sheikha Al-Joud

Postal address

Office of the King
The Amiri Court, Rifa’a Palace
PO Box 555


Bahrain is a hereditary constitutional monarchy. The King is head of state and his person is inviolate. He is the loyal protector of the religion and the homeland, and the symbol of national unity. On ascending the throne the King takes an oath at a special meeting of the National Assembly. Succession will pass to the eldest son of the King, one generation after another, unless the King in his lifetime appoints another son as his successor. In case of absence of the King the Crown Prince will act for him, and if he is not capable to do so, the King shall appoint a deputy by Royal order to exercise his powers during his period of absence.


The king is His Majesty Sheikh .. (first name) bin .. (name of his father) al-Khalifa, King of Bahrain. His consort is Her Majesty Shaikha .. bint .., Queen of Bahrain. The heir to the throne is His Royal Highness Sheikh .. bin .. al- Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain. The sons and daughters of the sovereign are Sheikh(a) .. bin(t) .. al-Khalifa, Prince(ss) of Bahrain, and are styled His/Her Royal Highness. Other members of the family are Sheikh(a) .. bin(t) .. al-Khalifa.

The Emirs and Kings of Bahrain

Isa bin Salman Al-Khalifa (1933-1999)1961/71-1999
Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al-Khalifa (1950- )1999-